54B-64. Civil penalties; State associations.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this Article, any association which is found to have violated any provision of this Article may be ordered to forfeit and pay a civil penalty of up to twenty thousand dollars ($20,000). Any association which is found to have violated or failed to comply with any cease and desist order issued under the authority of this Article may be ordered to forfeit or pay a civil penalty of up to twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) for each day that the violation or failure to comply continues.

The clear proceeds of civil penalties provided for in this section shall be remitted to the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund in accordance with G.S. 115C-457.2.

(b) To enforce the provisions of this section, the Commissioner of Banks is authorized to assess such a penalty and to appear in a court of competent jurisdiction and to move the court to order payment of the penalty. Prior to the assessment of the penalty, a hearing shall be held by the Commissioner of Banks which shall comply with the provisions of Article 3 of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes.

(c) If the Commissioner of Banks determines that, as a result of a violation of any provision of this Article, or of a failure to comply with any cease and desist order issued under the authority of this Article, a situation exists requiring immediate corrective action, the Commissioner of Banks may impose the civil penalty in this section on the association without a prior hearing, and said penalty shall be effective as of the date of notice to the association. Imposition of such penalty may be directly appealed to the Wake County Superior Court.

(d) Nothing in this section shall prevent anyone damaged by a State association from bringing a separate cause of action in a court of competent jurisdiction. (1981, c. 282, s. 3; 1987, c. 827, s. 1; 1998-215, s. 36; 2001-193, s. 16.)